La Belle Vie
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Gary the Groundhog

In the three years since we moved into our current apartment, we have seen a myriad of wildlife in what we call our back yard. A stripe of greenery between our building, a privacy hedge and what lays beyond, the YWCA. This stripe of greenery is home to any number of wild animals, protected—in part—by the privacy hedge (more so than the occupants of the building).

We have seen various coloured squirrels ranging from black through to russet red. We have a late-night wandering family of Racoons who—from a safe distance—are adorable to watch. But only come out late evening and through out the night. We also have at least one skunk who loves to perfume the night air with his decadent scent. Which lingers days after a visit. Pepe has only been sighted once. Once, I think, is enough.

We also enjoy any number of birds from a hunting kestrel to blue jays, yellow oriels and the usual assortment of sparrows, starlings, crows and seagulls. And the occasional song bird who serenades us with the most glorious sound.

Now, there’s a new guy in the yard: Gary, yes, I’ve named him Gary (as he looks like a Gary and not a Gracie!) Large, corpulent, somnolent and he enjoys eating dandelions a great attraction to the ladies. Certainly, if he stays, he’s going to keep the grass well cropped and weed free, by the looks of things. But where he has hidden his den, remains to be seen.

Ah, Gary, welcome to the neighbourhood, I hope you keep us all well entertained.


  1. Groundhogs are great, Alex. I went to a uni that had a small (branch) campus at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. That’s also the home of a very famous groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. The legend is that, on Groundhog Day at the beginning of February, if he emerges from his den and sees his shadow, there are six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, it’s an early spring. There’s always a big ‘do’ on Groundhog day…

    • La Blonde says

      Oh, lucky you. Since living up here, in the Frozen North, where they also ‘Do’ groundhog day, I’ve come to love these little fat fellows. They remind me of, well, me. I hope this one sticks around and doesn’t get frightened away, or worse, forced out. We only have a small patch of greenery, but it’s fun to see all the local wild life parade through at various times of the day.

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